Old School – More Vintage Fun

I had a couple of nice thrift store finds a few weeks ago. They seem to go well with the Vintage ABC quilt from last week.

I love to find vintage books – especially school books.  
This is one of the finds from my most recent trip: a spelling book from 1963.
My favorite part is the illustrations. This one was more of a proper text book with actual work in it, so there are fewer illustrations. But what there is is good stuff.
 Over time, I am starting to gather a small collection of them.  
This is from the 1951 classic “I Wonder Why.” Such stimulating content: “Picture of Weather. See this picture of weather.” But  I’m sure the charming illustrations captured the hearts and imaginations of many young students.

 Look. This one explains where babies come from!
And that’s about as much detail as you get. :)
This one is my favorite. It must have been for really young students because it is full mostly of illustrations with very little text. And the illustrations are fabulous. 
The book has already been used as a cutter so I don’t feel any obligation to keep it pristine.  I’d like to cut it up some more but I don’t actually know what to do with the illustrations. Any great ideas? I’d love suggestions. (I’m so not creative in these areas.)  I want to live in that house with the red roof.

Oh no! Someone opened the chocolates, smashed the walnut shells on the table, left out the newspaper and their blue sweater!  Those pesky kids! What should she do?? (Are you glad no one expects you to wear a lovely dress, heels and pearls every day?  Or do you wish you could?)


And last, but certainly not least, check out this baby that I found. I LOVE IT!  I got it for $14.  It’s not in mint condition (has anyone ever seen a school desk that was?) But it looks good. I gave it a good Lysol job when it got home. I’m now trying to decide whether to spray paint the metal or leave the ‘aged patina.’ I wonder what the Keno brothers would tell me to do. They’d probably say leave it.

My little guys love it too. Sweet!
(Which is good, because as much as I’d like to, I can’t actually fit in it myself.)


  1. says

    Wonderful finds! For the illustrations – you could cut them out and decoupage them onto wooden square cut outs (available at craft supply stores for cheap). Add a little stick-on magnet on the back and you'd have adorable magnets! Just one of many ideas… those pictures are great!

  2. says

    To get multiple uses out of those illustrations, you could scan them to print them out. Here are a couple more ideas…<br />Print the scans and turn them into laminated coasters. Print them on cotton fabric and turn them into an i spy quilt or wall hanging. Love your blog!

  3. says

    LOVE the desk. I&#39;m sure I had one just like it wayyyyyyyyyy back when. I found a lift top school desk at a yard sale years ago and my kids used it for awhile. I was going to take it apart and paint it recently and they informed me we had taken it to Goodwill. Huh. I don&#39;t remember okaying that move.

  4. says

    I LOVE your books. It makes me wish that school was still like that…colorful and simple and…wholesome feeling. I wish I could take modern conveniences and mix them with the 1950&#39;s June Cleaver era and that may be what heaven is like.

  5. says

    Wow! What awesome finds! I love them all! Those books are divine! and that desk is too cool! I would leave it as is for now 😉 <br />Thanks for sharing!<br />hugs, margie

  6. says

    great finds. i wish i had those desk in my classroom! then maybe we wouldnt feel so squished with 34 kids in the room.plus it looks so much tougher then the laminated desk with plastic caps that keep breaking off.

  7. says

    Oh those books just tug at my heart. So many images that bring back such sweet memories. :o) And that desk. Too cute!! I see your little guy is enjoying himself in it. What wonderful memories will be made.<br />Sincerely, Trish

  8. says

    was the first picture from the spelling book? <br /><br />I recently found a school desk (looks to be older than the one you found) at a garage sale for $5 bucks. I thought about refinishing it but it&#39;s used patina has grown on me. I love it as is.<br /><br />I&#39;ll try and take a picture of it sometime this week. I&#39;ll let you know when it&#39;s up

  9. says

    I think, on that &quot;Which Things Could She Use?&quot; picture, that she should use the pitchfork, and chase the kids around until they clean up the mess they made!!!<br /><br />Great finds – such fun to look at!!

  10. says

    As I was reading your post and looking at all these pictures I had the strangest feeling of deja vu. I&#39;m sure I had some of these books in elementary school (am I really that old)!

  11. says

    You sure gave me a walk back in time. I learned to read using those books, and sat in a desk very much just like the one you purchased. Must make me &quot;vintage&quot; too!

  12. says

    How lovely all those old books. Makes me want to turn back time and live a less stressful, hectic, busy life. At least that is what my old clients (in their 80&#39;s or 90&#39;s) tell me about life in the 40&#39;s and 50&#39;s. I can&#39;t have enough of their stories as they have lived through so much. And I adore the little school desk. Would probably be crazy funky to paint, but still so

  13. says

    Ok…I would totally love a desk like that!!! Not sure my &quot;less is more&quot; husband would go for it thought. Just glad he hasn&#39;t said anything about my fabric stash! 😉

  14. says

    I have several Dick and Jane books – found at our church rummage sale!! AND I have a school desk with the &quot;flip up&quot; top! They were awful because you had to hang on to whatever was already on the desk top if you needed more paper or another book! Who designed THOSE desks? lol!

  15. says

    Oooh I&#39;m conflicted myself. I love the idea of a BRIGHT Primary color spray painted on, but the current look is fabulous too! Argh how do you choose 😉 <br />Biz

  16. says

    Love the books, you could scan some of pictures into your computer and then get them printed onto fabric sheets that will go through a printer and use as quilt blocks…that way the house with the red roof could live at your house !

  17. says

    What a GREAT post! I love the vintage books and pictures too. <br /><br />I would love to wear heels and pearls and dresses every day! I think I would feel better about myself; sweat bottoms and tshirts are not too elegant. I always feel sloppy and fat. But I would be so C.O.L.D in a dress and shivering all day is not worth the price. (Not that I have pearls. or heels. or even a dress at this

  18. says

    wow!! I love all your vintage finds! That desk is so perfect! I would love one or two of those for my girls! I&#39;ll have to keep my eye out!

  19. says

    I love the first book, and the pages look so new! And I have a desk almost like yours – bought it years ago, and it&#39;s in the attic completely forgotten. I probably need to bring it downstairs, huh?

  20. says

    I think we must go to the same thrift store. Once you posted about a couple of vintage sheets you found. I had picked up those same sheets the day before and decided not to buy them. Humm. I am glad you got them. I would love to see what you do with them. Then a couple of days ago I got a Basic Reader called &quot;Our Town&quot;. Someone must have dropped off these readers. I love mine!

  21. says

    I bought a desk just like that for my little boy for $10 at a garage sale!!! I did spray paint the metal a navy blue and primed and painted the seat a cherry red. He hasn&#39;t used it as much as I would&#39;ve hoped, but it was amazing how different it looked with a new coat of paint.

  22. says

    Oh, I&#39;ve been looking for desks like that myself! Lucky!<br />And I am one that wishes I could wear nice dresses, heels and pearls all day whilst I do my housework.

  23. says

    I LOVE the vintage textbooks! I am a textbook editor–pre-K through grade 8–and adore old textbooks like these. I don&#39;t collect them because my house is stuffed full of current texts, but I do love to look at the older ones and see how they have evolved over the years. Thanks for sharing.

  24. says

    Ok, I&#39;m a retired teacher and taught almost my entire career using those type of desks, They were ugly then and ugly now..I say PAINT that sucker in some cute primary colors maybe some dots, designs, decoupage, whatever you like but NOT that UGLY steel color!! Just thinkin….<br />Gmama Jane

  25. says

    I saw a desk like that just the other day at our Goodwill. It was marked $5!! I was sorely tempted to purchase it, but as my youngest is on the husky side, I didn&#39;t think he would fit. What a great find though, and I think a coat of paint on yours would be in order.

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